Power – 1344 words – College

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We see this definition of power exercised all over the world on the television or in a newspaper, as the domination of one group of people over another can have detrimental affects for a country, which is then penetrated throughout the world by the power of the media. (Anon, 2008). This essay will explore the different types of power throughout the world, and how each state incorporates power in either a positive or negative way In the running of their country.

It will examine the type of power In America, which will be contrasted with the type of power in European countries.

It will also examine the factors In which power relies on and also how this power Is exercised throughout a country, and Its effect on the people of that country. In society, many factors determine power such as, wealth, power and outstanding skills. In capitalists societies a persons wealth determines their level of power.

It Is also true to say that power creates power, as a person becomes more powerful by exercising and expanding their power. A person who posses outstanding skills differs from society, which acts as a base for social power. (Kumar, 2014) Evidentially power exists in almost every aspect of a persons life.

We observe and experience aspects of power from as young as 5 in the play ground through bullying, as one person can feel superior to another and therefore dictate that persons behavior and decisions throughout their time in school. Women’s right to power In today’s society has dramatically changed from previous centuries as women now have access to power and the ability to use this power in society.

The media today can also provide people with a sense of power as Information can be spread throughout the world, providing people with knowledge and therefore a sense of power. Power can have a positive influence or a negative influence.

Parents have the power to impose their will on their children to ensure they behave in a socially acceptable way. This is an example of how power can have a positive effect on society.

However Hitler exerted a negative force of power within Germany, which proved to be extremely dangerous causing catastrophic consequence’s and the death of millions of people. It is obvious that power in the wrong hands and used in the wrong way can be ineffective. The distinction of power used in a positive way, and power used in an negative way, can e seen through the examination of Hard Power and Soft Power. America seems to be hard power incarnate and Europe the embodiment of soft power. “(Cooper, 2004).

Soft power does not embody coercion or payments, as this provokes resistance and hostility. Instead It Is the ability to get what you want through persuasion and attraction. A historical example of soft power can be seen In the Catholic church. Stalin who believed only in the success of hard power, argued that although the church did have was the obedience of a large part of the population out of respect for his moral authority.

This became much more powerful than the Coercive power Stalin believed in. (Cooper, 2004).

According to Nee (2004), Political leaders do not spend enough time incorporating the soft dimensions into their political strategies for wielding power. A society based solely on hard power can become dangerous and therefore does not deserve the name society. Soft power represents collective action, co-operation and encourages imitation. For example in the sass’s, the success of Japan was noticed by the people of neighboring countries and they tried to imitate it.

Japan had a powerful influence on its neighboring countries which produced ascribable outcomes. This created a more comfortable environment for Japan, rather than if its neighboring countries had taken up Moist ideas. However can this power be influenced by certain circumstances ? For example, if at the time Japans neighboring countries were facing a shortage of raw materials, would it have been in the best interest of Japan to have its neighboring countries imitate its high growth economic policies. (Cooper, 2004) Is soft power only possible under desirable conditions ? Hard power includes the use of both negative instruments (e. G.

, litany force, threats of violence, economic sanctions) and positive inducements/ bribes (e. G. , development aid, the offer of an alliance) in order to get others to do what you want them to do. ” (Herpetologists. Wordless.

Com, 2011). Hard Power is aimed at keeping society in unjust and unequal positions. Americas confidence in hard power began during and after the cold war, by dominating the Atlantic Allies and emphasizing the importance of defense and military strategies.

The Europeans, by contrast, became less and less tolerant of Americas hard power approach, and ere much more inclined “to draw upon the soft power resources. ” (Elgin, 2006) When success has been achieved through hard power, a soft power approach should be implemented. However this approach depends on the person who posses power.

“Realists have a preference for hard power and believe that results will not be achieved through speeches, it can only be achieved through blood. ” (Cooper, 2004). They believe that hard power is the only way to truly run their country, protecting its territory and people. Heywood, 2013). However is it fair to label Americas present president Barack Obama a realist ? Although America represents hard power through its military capacities and defense budget, a clear example of soft power can be seen in Americas marshal plan after World War II.

The Marshall Plan included humanitarian aid, such as food and medical care; expert advice for rebuilding destroyed infrastructures, such as transportation and communication networks and public utilities; and outright monetary grants. This plan proved success in preventing Western Europe falling into the influence of the Communist Soviet Union. Educational exchange programs, such as President Beam’s 100,000 Strong initiative tit China, are also an element of soft power. ” Cones) The ruler of the country e. G the president or the government has the power to change the structure of power, from hard to soft or soft to hard. Should a government or ruler, have so much power over each country in which it dictates ? Is it dangerous for a person or group to uphold so much power ? In 1936 the Soviet Constitution promised a federal structure with decentralized power in important policy areas.

However this promise was not fulfilled dominating and controlling the official state structure. (Oxford, and Browning et al. 2002). “Disillusionment and cynicism grow as parties seek power by proclaiming their capacity to solve problems and improve conditions, but fail to deliver once in government. ” (Heywood, 2013).

Does the idea of expanding and maintaining power change peoples perspectives and morals? Would social order exist without the interference of powerful groups such as the government and without them upholding so much control and power ? “Social order may be maintained because all value group membership and fear the effects of its withdrawal if they do not conform”(Leaver, 1984).

Fear exists as a result of dominant groups maintaining a high level of power. If the power was decentralized from highly major powerful groups such as the government, social order may be maintained. However if this power was further divided and dominant groups no longer existed in society, would social order still be maintained without fear and consequences ? Is a small degree of power within dominant groups essential for the efficient running of society ? Would society simply collapse if no one person dominated a level of power over the next person ? Power is defined and exercised differently throughout the world .

Each definition provides us with a new understanding of Power.

In certain countries power is defined as the ability to control a group of people through fear and threats. In other countries such as European countries, power is defined as the ability to persuade a group of people to believe in a vision through communication and positivist. These different definitions of Power can be seen world wide in the running of each country, whether the power is decentralized throughout the country, or a dictator who posses all the power and is in complete control of the country.

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